No one really likes to think about what will happen when they finally pass away. However, a little bit of planning and preparation can help your family out immensely. One of the ways to make that inevitable day easier on your loved ones is to set up an estate plan. But, estate planning may seem daunting and bring up a lot of questions. What is estate planning exactly? What if I don’t have anything to give to my family? How is my family supposed to know what my final wishes and arrangements are? How will minors in my family be treated? What will happen to my prized collection of Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia? The questions can seem endless. […]
Si recientemente se han convertido en padres primerizos o en futuros padres, probablemente lo último que tenga en mente sea la planificación patrimonial. Después de todo, eres joven, probablemente saludable y toda tu energía está enfocada en ese nuevo bebé. ¿Por qué diablos debería preocuparse por preparar un plan de sucesión ahora? Eso es algo con lo que sus padres o los padres de sus padres tienen que lidiar, ¿verdad?
De alguna manera, la planificación patrimonial es más vital para una pareja joven que para una pareja mayor. Por primera vez en su vida, tiene o pronto tendrá un ser humano completamente indefenso que depende totalmente de usted para su cuidado. ¿Y qué pasa si algo te sucede a ti, a tu pareja o a ambos?
Responsabilidad financiera de los nuevos padres o futuros padres
Hay que pensar en la responsabilidad financiera de los nuevos padres o futuros padres; por ejemplo, el determinar y obtener una cantidad adecuada de seguro de vida. Ahorrar para esa inevitable educación universitaria. Eso es algo en lo que un planificador financiero puede ayudarlo, y es igualmente importante. Sin embargo, la planificación patrimonial se ocupa del aspecto legal de mantener a su hijo, como una tutela. ¿Ha pensado […]
If you have recently become new parents or parents-to-be, the last thing on your mind is probably doing estate planning. After all, you’re young, probably healthy, and all of your energy is focused on that new baby. Why in the world should you worry about preparing an estate plan now – that’s something your parents or your parents’ parents have to deal with, right?
In some ways, estate planning is more vital to a young couple than it is to an older couple. For the first time in your life, you have or soon will have a completely helpless human being who is totally dependent upon you for his or her care. And what happens if something happens to you or your significant other or both?
Financial Responsibility of New Parents or Parents-to-Be
There are the financial aspects to address as new parents or parents-to-be, such as determining and obtaining an appropriate amount of life insurance. And saving for that inevitable college education. That’s something a financial planner can assist you with, and it is equally important. But, estate planning deals with the legal […]
The holidays are upon us yet again. Every year at this time, it is tradition that I pester you about visiting with your family about your plans and wishes in the event you pass away. Although it may kill the holiday mood a bit to talk about your passing, it is very important that you do so. There are likely 2 or 3 people very close to you that you envision “handling things” upon your incapacity or passing. Those are the folks that you need to sit down with over a pint of beer or glass of wine and just let them know your thoughts.
As I mentioned, it is a bit of a mood killer, but you may find it is comforting to both you and your loved ones to do so. Letting them know your wishes means that they aren’t guessing (and getting it WRONG!) when the time comes that something happens to you. It will lessen the likelihood that your family will fight about issues after your incapacity or passing because you won’t have to guess about what “Mom” or “Dad” wanted. If Mom and/or Dad just sat down and went over his or her wishes, there won’t […]
I’ll start with a blanket statement: everybody who owns real estate in either Kansas or Missouri should have a beneficiary deed on file for that real estate, assuming it is not already placed in a trust. But, time and again, I see folks who pass away without having filed that simple, cheap and easy form with the county. A simple beneficiary deed can mean the difference between a quick and easy transition of your property to your heirs versus a long, drawn-out, expensive probate procedure.
A beneficiary deed is also known as a “transfer on death” deed. It allows your real estate to transfer automatically upon your death to whoever you name in that deed. You still own the property when you file a beneficiary deed on your real estate. You retain full control over it. You can mortgage the property, you can sell the property, you can do whatever you want with it – the beneficiary does not restrict your ownership of the property at all. If you get angry with the person you’ve named in the beneficiary deed to get your property, no problem – you can revoke that deed at any time you’d like. You can change the […]
Comenzaré con una declaración general: todos los propietarios de bienes raíces en Kansas o Missouri deben tener una escritura de beneficiario archivada para esos bienes raíces, suponiendo que no estén ya depositados en un fideicomiso. Pero, una y otra vez, veo personas que fallecen sin haber presentado ese formulario simple, barato y fácil en el condado. Una simple escritura del beneficiario puede significar la diferencia entre una transición rápida y fácil de su propiedad a sus herederos versus un procedimiento de sucesión largo, prolongado y costoso.
Una escritura de beneficiario también se conoce como una escritura de “transferencia en caso de fallecimiento”. Permite que su propiedad inmobiliaria se transfiera automáticamente después de su muerte a quien sea que nombre en esa escritura. Aún es dueño de la propiedad cuando presenta una escritura de beneficiario sobre su propiedad inmobiliaria. Usted mantiene el control total sobre la propiedad.. Puede hipotecar la propiedad, puede vender la propiedad, puede hacer lo que quiera con ella; el beneficiario no restringe su propiedad de los bienes en absoluto. Si se enoja con la persona que ha nombrado en la escritura del beneficiario para obtener su propiedad, no hay problema; puede revocar esa escritura en cualquier momento que […]
By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
One of the most considerate things you can do for your family is to make certain that you have an up-to-date estate plan, even if you are in perfectly good health. It saves a tremendous amount of cost and stress and even heartache to have your affairs in order in the event you pass away unexpectedly. This blog is written for those people who have unfortunately had a loved one pass away recently, and to make matter worse, that loved one did not have an estate plan. If you are the person who has the responsibility of wrapping up that loved one’s estate, you are likely feeling overwhelmed at the moment. You are probably feeling a little nervous as well, especially if there are other family members who are depending upon you to liquidate the estate and share the proceeds with them. If not done properly, you could even find yourself dragged into court to answer as to what happened to the decedent’s property.
Many times, there are rumors that a deceased family member had assets worth far more than they actually were. For example, a family member who always lived in a nice house […]
By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
The main reason to have a revocable trust is to avoid probate. But, did you know that many, actually probably “most”, people don’t really need a revocable trust if their family situation is relatively simple and they make good use of “non-probate transfer mechanisms.”
A non-probate transfer mechanism is simply a way to change the title on a piece of property without getting an order of the probate court. A simple example is using a “Payable on Death” designation on your checking account. If you have listed someone as a “Payable on Death” (aka “POD”) beneficiary on your checking account, then the bank will automatically give the money in that account to your POD beneficiary once that person presents your death certificate to the bank.
It is super simple – no need for lawyers or courts. A great tool for transferring real estate that is just as simple is known as a “Beneficiary Deed.” A Beneficiary Deed is essentially just like a POD designation on a bank account, with the exception that it is for real estate. It is a little more complicated because you’ll want an attorney to draft that Beneficiary Deed for you, and […]
By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
I absolutely love the holidays. It is a wonderful time for me mainly because I get to spend time with family that I rarely see throughout the remainder of the year. So, it’s a great time to catch up on their lives and listen to their joys and concerns about their life. It’s also a great time to discuss some issues that are difficult to discuss, but may make a difficult time in the future a little easier. Now, you don’t need to be in your golden years to have this discussion. This advice applies to “twenty-somethings” just as much (maybe more in some ways) as it does with great-grandmas. Last month, my blog was about the heart-breaking story that was shared by another attorney of when his family was in an horrific traffic accident that claimed the lives of both of his parents and an infant sibling. He and his toddler aged sister survived. His young parents had not done any sort of estate plan, and as a result, the two young surviving children became wards of the court for placement among family members. Don’t let that happen to […]
By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
I attended a continuing legal education seminar a couple of weeks ago. There were some very good speakers and some very good topics, but one speaker really caught my attention. It wasn’t because he was a particularly good speaker or that he had great information for us. It was because he shared a very personal story about heartbreak and turmoil in his own life.
When he was a child, his family was in an horrific automobile accident. It killed his mother, father and one of his siblings. He was very young at the time, about 5 years old. His younger sister, about 3 at the time, also survived the accident. Unfortunately, his parents did not have an estate plan of any kind. Luckily, well sort of, he had family on both his mother’s and father’s sides of the family that could care for him and his sister. The problem was that the family could not agree on who would be the best to take care of the 2 surviving children. So, a court case was opened to allow a judge to make that decision.
The judge temporarily placed […]